LGBT groups pull events from Beverly Hills Hotel; cite homophobic owner

The well-known hotel chain Beverly Hills Hotel is coming under fire from LGBT activist groups due to recent international events. The OutGiving Conference, a social event for wealthy donors to LGBT causes run by The Gill Action Fund, was originally slated to take place at a Beverly Hills Hotel venue but was cancelled after news of the hotel chain’s owner came to light.

As it turns out, the Beverly Hills Hotel chain is owned by one Hassanal Bolkiah – also known as the Sultan of Brunei. The Southeast Asian nation of Brunei implemented revisions to their penal code on April 22nd that include “stoning to death” for various sexual acts, creating an openly hostile and potentially deadly legal environment for LGBT individuals. The executive director of the Gill Action Fund Kirk Fordham announced the cancellation on April 17th, stating “In light of the horrific anti-gay policy approved by the government of Brunei, Gill Action made the decision earlier today to relocate its conference from the Beverly Hills Hotel to another property,”

It is worth noting that as is often the case in ownership boycotts, Hassanal Bolkiah does not hold direct, one-to-one ownership here. Bolkiah controls the Brunei Investments Agency, which holds the Dorchester Group as a subsidiary. The Dorchester Group owns the Dorchester Collection, a group of hotels of which Beverly Hills is one brand. A statement issued by Beverly Hills Hotel claims that “We are also against any law in any other country around the world that punishes people for their religious beliefs, ethnicity, race or sexual orientation. The laws and policies that govern how we run our hotel have nothing to do with the laws that exist in any other country outside of the United States.”

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